Write 9 pages thesis on the topic common assessment topics. For decades now, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery have been the only effective methods of treating cancers. However, these methods fa

Write 9 pages thesis on the topic common assessment topics. For decades now, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery have been the only effective methods of treating cancers. However, these methods fail to eliminate cancerous cells in some patients. Such patients may be helped by gene therapy, a new and promising way of treating cancer. Gene therapy is the insertion of a foreign functional gene into specific cells of a patient to repair an acquired mutation, correct an inborn metabolic error, or provide a cell with a new function. The understanding of cancer at the molecular level has improved tremendously. Among the promising approaches to emerge in this area is the possibility of utilizing gene therapy to target and destroy selective tumor cells. This can be achieved by using this technique to correct an abnormality in tumor suppressor genes, especially P53, and prevent overexpression of oncogenes such as K-RAS, which has been established to be a characteristic of various malignancies.

Correction of an abnormality in a tumor suppressor gene can be accomplished using gene therapy by inserting a copy of the wild-type gene into the DNA. Insertion of the wild-type P53 gene into tumor cells that are deficient of P53 has been shown to induce the death of tumor cells. The implications of this discovery are enormous. Alterations in P53 are the most common type of mutations in human cancers. It is possible to block the overexpression of an oncogene at the genetic level by integrating it with an antisense gene with a transcript that selectively binds to the oncogene RNA. This impairs the oncogene’s capacity to direct the production of protein. Scientists have verified the effectiveness of this procedure by both in vivo and in vitro experiments, which have demonstrated that when an antisense vector of K-RAS is integrated into lung cancer cells overexpressing their K-RAS, their tumor&nbsp.activity decreases (Peacock, 2010).

Unfortunately, the use of gene therapy to treat cancer is not yet fully effective due to a number of difficulties which are yet to be overcome. The most important of these difficulties is the lack of efficient systems of gene delivery. Gene therapy can only be effective if a normal gene is successfully delivered into several million cells in a tissue. These cells have to be the targeted tumor cells in the correct tissue. On the achievement of successful gene delivery, the genes must then be activated to produce the protein it encodes.

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